In this lecture, Angelique Chettiparamb, from the University of Reading, aims to introduce the idea of 'Zero waste regimes' and 'Decentralized energy systems' for recovering both materials and energy from waste, thus instituting a circular economy.


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Issues which the lecture addresses

The lecture is based on the concept of zero-waste regimes and the need to recover both material and energy from waste to embed a circular economy within urban areas. It discusses the idea of decentralised energy production systems in cities and looks at the challenge of waste, energy production and governance in instituting a circular economy. ‘In my backyard!’ Waste and energy in a Circular Economy suggests a system of nested scales to bring the point of disposal of waste and decentralised energy generation as close as possible to the point of waste generation.


Short analysis of the above issues

The case study and findings of the benefits of a system of waste disposal and energy generation through nested scales – the ‘In my Backyard! Paradigm - is based upon case study research of solid waste processes and practices involving bio-gas generation instituted in one ward of the city of Kochi, Kerala, India.


Propositions for addressing the issue

 Angelique builds up her analysis from:

a) The widely accepted idea of the waste hierarchy;

b) The issues involved in a centralised collection and disposal of waste currently adopted in most cities across the world;

c) The idea of ‘zero-waste’ cities and the ‘circular economy’;

d) The case for decentralised systems of energy and e) the need for nested scales of waste – to – energy and waste – to – material systems. Her case study research received the first prize in the ‘Hidden Successes’ completion exploring urbanization issues in India sponsored by MIT, US and IFMRI, India.



Dr. Angelique Chettiparamb is Associate Professor in Urban Planning and Governance at the University of Reading. She has a long-standing interest in waste management, especially in developing countries. She was previously the Head of the Centre for Urban Studies in the Kerala Institute of Local Administration, India, where she was involved in action research and capacity building training for local government functionaries on waste management. Her paper ‘In My Backyard! An Alternative Model of Solid Waste Management’ won for the research group she led the first prize in the Hidden Success competition hosted by MIT, US and IFMRI, India. She is the Managing Editor of the journal Planning Theory and the Secretary General (Elect) for the Association of European Schools of Planning from 2019-2023.



Chettiparamb, A, Chakkalakkal, M. and Chedambath, R. (2011) ‘In My Backyard! An Alternative Model of Solid Waste Management’ International Planning Studies.16(4), 313-331.

Winner of first prize winner in the ‘Hidden Successes’ competition conducted by MIT and IFMRI, India. Available at:

Chettiparamb, A. (2012) ‘Municipal Solid Waste’ In Jorgensen, S.E. (ed) Encyclopedia of Environmental Management Taylor and Francis Group: New York.


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